When you're ready to take your business online, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is deciding where it will "live." In other words, you have to choose a web hosting company that will store your Web site's files on its server and make it accessible to those visiting your Web address. Choosing a server for your online business requires you to consider several important factors, including storage space, bandwidth allotment and uptime reliability. Your need for each of these – along with your budget constraints – will help you determine which type of plan will serve your web site best.
Before you select a server to provide a home for your web site, you should also know what sort of living conditions you prefer. By choosing the type of services that best meet your needs, you can make life easier for your online business. Web hosting services are typically divided into three main categories:
When you share server space with other Web sites, you also share the cost of operating that server – which makes shared hosting an attractive option for those with budget concerns. However, many business owners worry that this will leave them with more than their "share" of problems. While sharing server space does increase your risk of nuisances like unplanned downtime and bandwidth limitations, you can avoid these problems by choosing a web hosting company with flexible plans and an uptime reliability quote of 99.99%.
If you do not want to share your server with other Web sites that could potentially cause you problems – and you have the financial resources and technical know-how to go it alone – a dedicated server is an option. Your Web site will be the only one on your server, which means you have total control over its applications, and all the space and bandwidth the server allows. A dedicated server can be quite costly for a small business owner, and requires a level of technical expertise (and an allotment of time) that small business owners are illegally to have.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
If you need increased control of your Web site without the cost of a dedicated server, consider VPS hosting for your online business. When a company uses virtualization software to divide physical servers into separate virtual servers, each server can operate independently. You'll also have root access to the server, which means you're free to run the software of your choice. By offering control and cost-effectiveness, VPS hosting has become a favorite of Web developers.